Wednesday, February 7th 2018

"Marriage is hard, it has ups and downs, and it can have some really rocky roads that you’ll travel through."

Unconditional love is far too often melded into the pot of all those mushy gushy feelings that people think are what real love is…add the word “unconditional” to it and people think they’re committing to having all these mushy gushy feelings for forever. I think anyone who’s been married over a year can agree that the mushy gushy feelings do not stay with you every minute of every hour of your marriage.

In reality unconditional love is the part of love that comes to play when things are the hardest. There are no fluttering hearts or hours of gazing into each others eyes. It’s when sickness happens, you can’t pay your bills, the car keeps breaking down, the water heater explodes, you find out that you can’t have children, your in-laws are intrusive and destructive towards your marriage, the list goes on and on.

Marriage is hard, it has ups and downs, and it can have some really rocky roads that you’ll travel through. Unconditional love knows these things are hard but despite the overwhelming feelings of the circumstances you look at the person you’ve married and say, “This is hard but I chose you and we’ll get through this together.”

Unconditional love is when you have to put into practice 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:

“Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

These passages of scripture are easy to recite and most of us enjoy hearing these words read at a wedding, but putting it to practice when you’re stressed, hurting or so angry that you don’t particularly like the person you’re married to is a totally different story. You have to push emotions aside and cling to God’s word, His promises, and His direction.

I believe we can understand unconditional love better when we’ve accepted Christ’s unconditional love. This is different from salvation and accepting Jesus Christ as your Savior, having him be Lord of your life and asking him to forgive you of your sins. The reason this is different is because I know many Christians who live each day beating themselves up because of their past decisions. They believe everyone around them is lovable. They believe God can do amazing things in other believer’s lives. They even believe that God’s love has washed “others” sins away and that “other” people have been redeemed…but not them. For some reason they have accepted the gift of salvation but will not accept the gift of God’s unconditional love. They live in bondage because they will not live in God’s grace and unconditional love.

We hear all the time, “God wants to give you the desires of your heart” and we stop there, but the rest of the verse explains that this happens only when our desires are in line with His.

Well,  I can promise you this, God does want you to love your spouse unconditionally. He wants you to practice this kind of love and enjoy this kind of love within your marriage. If you want to have unconditional love in your marriage you need to practice it, realize during those rocky times you will have to work even harder to give it, and pray for God to give you the strength, wisdom and grace to have it naturally flow from you to your spouse.

Traci Crandall came to Friendship in October of 2004 with her husband, David, and two beautiful daughters, Kaitlyn and Georgia. She is currently on staff as Executive Assistant. She is proud to say she’s a native Texan and loves spending time with her family, cooking and any opportunity she has to go to the beach!